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of first kisses and bitter coffee

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/


"has jungkook gotten his first kiss yet?"

answer: he laughs. his hyungs laugh, saying oh, definitely, and it's probably with the GD poster over jungkookie's bed. he protests loudly.

but the cameras switch off and radio MC's voice still resounds in the back of his head, that one question playing over and over and over like a broken tape.


/


now, real answer: he's 21. legal and technically an adult.

but has he gotten his first kiss yet? a legitimate kiss, lips to lips, the blushy sloppy behind-the-school kind?

somehow, that, he hasn't.


/


it's almost funny how much realizing that bothers jungkook. like, the weird sort of funny, soda bubbles in his head and a storm in his stomach.

he tries not to think about it.

it's a losing effort, but at least he's trying.


/


"hyung," he begins, in all his drunken glory. "have—have you ever kissed before?"

it's unclear who he's asking, given the room's full of his equally drunk hyungs. but yoongi turns, face unreadable in the dim lighting of the kitchen light. his fingers move to take jungkook's half-empty glass from his hands.

"you've had too much to drink," yoongi tells him, tone odd.

"just curious." jungkook makes a vain attempt at getting his glass back and gives up, wrist falling limp over yoongi's.

"have you not?" yoongi asks.

there's a strange sort of quiet following that question, the one buzzing between jungkook's ears. or maybe it's the alcohol. maybe he did drink too much, because it's not even the slightest bit quiet. jin is a few feet away yelling at namjoon for toppling his glass.

he folds his arm on the kitchen table, cheek resting on his forearm. "dunno," he mumbles. he traces circles on yoongi's wrist, and yoongi scoffs at his lame evasion. jungkook hides his face. "yeah, i haven't."

yoongi opens his mouth, then closes it again. takes a sip from jungkook's glass. jungkook watches him hesitate, mind swimming too much to try figure why.

at that point jimin falls off his chair loud enough to catch everyone's attention, and jungkook forgets about the whole odd ordeal.


/


it's after another drunken family party does yoongi speak.

"you've asked me twice now," he points out. jungkook rubs his temple. the sunlight's way too bright.

he opts for not answering, rolling off the couch with a thud, headache pulsing behind his eyes.

"that a thing now? alcohol induced first kiss crises?"

he groans, throwing an arm over his eyes. "hyung, shut up."

yoongi goes silent. then, "or, really. that been on your mind lately?"

"dunno," jungkook says to the ceiling, finding safety in indecisive answers. yoongi sighs loudly from his spot on the armchair.

jungkook closes his eyes and wishes he could merge with the carpet.


/


he tries not to think about it.

he finds himself doing just the exact opposite, staring at his bedroom ceiling at ass o'clock wondering how a kiss would feel like.


/


"something's been bothering you," yoongi says out of the blue. "it's the kiss thing again, isn't it."

jungkook stares at the side of his face for a while before turning back to the fridge. he runs his fingers up and down the door grip.

"hyung, you remember that radio interview?" he says finally, swinging the fridge door open. "that question, you know, that first kiss question. yeah?"

yoongi makes a sound of recognition. "that what this brooding's all about?"

"who's brooding?" jungkook shuts the fridge door, taking a swig of orange juice right from the nearly empty carton.

"MCs getting too deep, huh?" yoongi scribbles something in his notebook. writing lyrics, jungkook guesses. he falls next to him, sinking into their red dorm couch.

"probably just me being weird, hyung, i dunno. don't see the others freaking out."

they sit in silence for a while, accompanied by the hum of the a/c and distant snoring from namjoon's room. jungkook studies the paper-littered coffee table blankly, picking at the hem of his basketball shorts.

"do you want to?" 

he blinks. "what?"

"your first kiss, jungkook-ah," yoongi says. "you want to have that?"

"'course," jungkook scoffs, like it's no big deal. 

"you know you could just have it with anyone, right," yoongi says, tired eyes finally regarding jungkook. "like sex."

jungkook rubs his forehead. "i guess, yeah. but kissing is different, hyung, i think. like, special? i wanna have them with special people."

yoongi hums, running his pencil on the margins absently. "got any of those special people in mind? lucky girl, maybe?"

jungkook finishes his orange juice, feeling funny. he doesn't really have an answer.


/


he tries not to think about it.

he fails, again, and loses sleep thinking of yoongi's words. 

any of those 'special people' in mind?


/


"hyung, i wanna kiss you."

yoongi chokes on his iced americano. jungkook stares intently as he hits his chest and swivels in his studio chair to face him. "kook, what the fuck?"

jungkook laughs, ignoring how his stomach sinks a little. "is the idea that bad?"

"well, no," yoongi says, eyeing him warily. "just thought that was for, i don't know, special people. do i even classify—"

"why is it really cold in here? it's, like, five degrees celcius."

"are you—kook, seriously? subtlety isn't your forté."

he shifts on the sofa. "i mean, you can tell me no."

a sigh. "i'm not telling you no."

"so you telling me yes?"

"wh—fuck's sake, please cut me some slack." 

jungkook dodges a flying pencil, grinning despite the nervous churning in his gut. he traces the sofa lining. "i'm kinda waiting, here." 

really, he half expects him to ignore it, pass it off as mindless teasing. but yoongi sighs again and stands up.

jungkook pretends there’s no butterflies in his stomach. "hyung—"

yoongi hovers closer, puts his knee on the sofa between his legs and braces his hands on his shoulders. he can smell the americano in his breath—jungkook's pulse beats light speed.

yoongi's fingers are under his chin, tilting his head up. then he presses his lips against jungkook's.

jungkook's head spins so hard he has to latch onto yoongi's hips for a grip. yoongi kisses him slow. his lips slot over jungkook's, little by little guiding him deeper. he tastes like coffee, bitter and acidic, but jungkook cherishes it. to think jungkook used to hate bitter.

his hands have just slipped under the hem of yoongi's shirt when he pulls back. jungkook chases his lips, dazed, but meets fingers instead. he blinks. yoongi swipes a thumb over his wet lips and pulls back his hand.

"there you go," he pushes off the couch, turning back to his desk. too quick. "a kiss. you're welcome, or something."

jungkook's face feels hot. "wow. thanks, or something," he says. he tucks the neck of his tee over his face and lies down.

"now maybe shut up and let me work," he hears yoongi say, already clicking away on his desktop. 

"coffee breath," he mumbles.

"maybe shut up."

jungkook thinks he could hear a smile in yoongi's voice. he closes his eyes and grins into the fabric, discreet, until his cheeks hurt.


/


weeks go busily after that, and nothing really changes.

nothing; apart from how he starts to notice little things.

old little things, like the way yoongi always stretches when he stands up, or that tiny crinkle by his eye. he takes note of those, secretly, in his mind. he’s not sure why.

at one point, he starts to drink americano. it makes sense, somehow. the way yoongi laughs when he notices gives it sense. he smiles into his coffee every morning—he’s not sure why.

so nothing really changes, he’d say, other than maybe this tiny something in his chest.


/


"do something about it."

jungkook looks up from his phone. taehyung's eyes are still on the screen. "are you talking to me?"

"what do you think, dumbass," taehyung says, lowering his head onto jungkook's lap. 

jungkook pokes his forehead. "do something about what?"

"like you don't know what i'm talking about," taehyung scoffs, turning so that he can still watch whatever that is that's playing on the tv. some foreign action?

"i really don't," jungkook says sincerely.

"jeon jungkookie, keeping secrets are not nice," taehyung chides, he pauses and looks back at jungkook in thought, some level of alarm in his face. "unless you actually don't kn—damn, are you really that thick in the head?"

"fuck you, hyung." he shoves taehyung off the couch for good measure.

taehyung gets up again and reclaims his position on jungkook's lap like nothing happened. he pats jungkook's cheek, smiling warmly. "anyway, go do something about it, yeah?"

jungkook stares.

taehyung sighs. "your thing. with yoongi-hyung."

"i—" jungkook wants to tell him there's no thing to do anything about. his face is growing uncomfortably warm. he has no thing with yoongi-hyung, what is taehyung talking about?

but taehyung just rolls over on his side and continues watching that shitty foreign action movie on the screen, so jungkook settles for flicking his ear. taehyung ignores him, fine. he still has no thing with yoongi-hyung. that doesn't change.


/


he keeps trying to keep his heartbeat in check when he catches yoongi’s eyes.

he fails every time.


/


"is that piano tiles?"

jungkook jolts upright on the sofa, fingers slipping on the wrong key. he takes a second to calm his erratic pulse and twists around. frowns at yoongi casually leaning on the doorframe. "hyung, please quit doing that. scared the shit out of me."

yoongi shrugs. "it's half past one," he says, walking in. says it casually, like a mere observation.

"i can't sleep," jungkook says. he quits piano tiles. 

"yeah?"

"yeah," he watches yoongi open the fridge. "was getting tired of my bedroom ceiling. it looks the same every night, anyway."

"you still brooding? i thought we got that thing out of the way."

"what thing?"

"your kiss thing."

jungkook's stomach drops a little too low for his liking. “ah,” he says, and even to him his voice sounds hollow. “right.”

yoongi pauses, holding that bar of bitter chocolate he always keeps in the fridge. he puts it there so it doesn’t melt—jungkook suddenly doesn’t want to know that fact anymore. “what’s up?”

“nothing,” jungkook says. his chest hurts.

yoongi sits next to him. “huh.”

the words roll too loosely off his tongue: "just—really? that's really all it was to you? pacifying me?”

jungkook immediately regrets the outburst—he wasn't supposed to say anything. backtracks. "i mean, of course. alright. 'cause, like, me, too."

everything goes too quiet.

jungkook wants to bang his head on the obnoxious coffee table. "fuck—sorry. i’m just—so tired, hyung. pretend i said nothing."

he stands up, walks around yoongi, who's stock still, and utters a meek good night at the door. yoongi doesn't reply—doesn't even look at him.

jungkook memorizes the bedroom ceiling that night. and the next morning, they don't talk, but jungkook notices the shadows underneath yoongi's eyes and hates that he still picks up all tiny details.

he washes the ugly feeling in his chest away with ice water and doesn't make americano that morning. 


/


"hey, kookie. you okay?"

"yeah," he says, but jimin closes the door behind him and climbs into his bed anyway.

"what happened?" with yoongi-hyung, he doesn't add.

"nothing," jungkook says. 

jimin holds him anyway. like he knows.


/


the next night, jungkook dreams of being a task checked out of a list, then of a familiar pair of sharp angled eyes, then a kiss much like the first one he’s gotten.

he wakes up crying and confused. he doesn’t remember the dream.


/


days crawl by too slowly, with pass-me-the-salt interactions and avoiding eye contact and no visits to one particularly cold studio.

his feelings also crawl too slowly. maybe he shouldn't have asked, maybe he shouldn't have done anything. 

he lets them sit, ignored, in his chest.





“something the matter?”

jungkook looks up. namjoon’s back is facing him. “why?”

namjoon shrugs, sorting sheet music on his workspace.

“do...do i look like something’s the matter?”

finally, namjoon turns to face him. he gestures to his face. “you’ve got that... mildly distressed prairie hare look going on.”

“what the hell.”

namjoon laughs. “sorry, i can’t find a better comparison.”

he fiddles with his headphones, the ones namjoon gave when he asked him to give feedback on new music. “...i’m not that obvious?”

“i know you try,” namjoon says, voice softening. “it’s not that you’re doing a bad job. it’s just...we know each other too well. we live together. you know?”

jungkook chews on the inside of his cheek.

namjoon squeezes his elbow. “just—you can talk to me, okay? or any of us.”

“i know, hyung.”

“anything you’re going through, remember that we all love you. okay? even...even yoongi-hyung. even if he doesn’t show it much. you know he’s like that.”

“yoongi-hyung,” jungkook repeats quietly, mindlessly.

“yeah,” namjoon says, also mindlessly. “i think he actually loves you the most.”


/


it's a cold afternoon, a rare one where their schedule is free. jungkook has long stopped drinking americano.

they're in the living room, separate couches and minding their own business. then hoseok leaves and jungkook realizes, belatedly with a sinking feeling, that it's only the two of them.

"jungkook-ah."

yoongi moves to sit next to him. he tenses up, then forces himself to relax.

the couch dips, cracked red vinyl rippling. his fingers are ink stained from all the writing. lyrics are scattered on the coffee table, and this is familiar, jungkook thinks, remembering that night a month back.

yoongi's silent, mind whirring so loud jungkook could almost hear it.

“it’s been long since you came to the studio.”

“yeah.” jungkook stares at his hands. 

it’s quiet again.

“i wish i could say i’ve been working on something and i need you for recording,” yoongi says. “as an excuse to ask you to come. but i don’t really have a reason. i just—i miss y—fuck, i’m bad at this.”

“it’s okay,” jungkook says.

yoongi’s staring at the ceiling. “if i turn the aircon up, would that make you visit again?”

jungkook considers it. “maybe.”

“i’ll turn the aircon up,” yoongi says, with a tone of finality, then stands up and leaves.

jungkook lies down on the couch for a long while. when he touches his face, he realizes he’s smiling.


/


it takes him a few days to go back to the studio, but he tells himself it’s justified. they’d been busy with interviews.

but now he’s in front of the door, staring at the “go away” rug yoongi’s put there, chewing on his cheek.

after a minute, he realizes yoongi won’t open the door unless he knocks. so he knocks.

when the door swings open, his heartrate goes wild. “hi, hyung.”

“you’re here,” yoongi says, all sleepy eyes and messy hair.

“you’re surprised,” jungkook says, going inside. “it’s not freezing anymore.”

“someone used to nag about the cold,” yoongi says. jungkook flops down on the couch.

“it’s nicer,” he says, closing his eyes, “i mean, it’s still cold, you can do better, but—”

“ungrateful brat,” yoongi remarks. jungkook laughs. he feels lighter.

yoongi takes his chair, spinning back towards his workspace. there’s a scatter of papers on the desk, a cup of coffee near the computer. it smells like pine air refresher and bitter coffee, probably spilt at some point.

jungkook realizes he may have missed this place.

“can i take a nap?”

yoongi hums. sips his americano. “i’ll be here.”


/


“i brought you coffee,” jungkook says when yoongi opens the door one night.

yoongi smiles, all teeth and gum, and jungkook lets himself pick up all the tiny details all over again.


/


it’s late into the night, maybe somewhere around a week after he starts visiting again that yoongi suddenly turns around in his chair.

“i want to kiss you,” he says.

jungkook looks up from his laptop.

they stare at each other, a few feet away. jungkook thinks the angry red of yoongi’s cheeks are reflected on his own.

“feels like déjà vu,” he finally says. “o-only i’m supposed to say that.”

“can i?”

ignoring the drum of his heartbeat in his ears, jungkook stands up and crosses the distance. he places his knee between yoongi’s, braces his arm on the chair.

yoongi’s lips are parted, his eyes wide. jungkook tries his best to pick up all the details—he’s never seen yoongi this open. his emotions on display on his face, vulnerable.

“i don’t know, can you?” jungkook says.

yoongi laughs.

the kiss is a mess, mostly because they’re both smiling and their teeth clash, but yoongi’s lips are soft and familiar and a little bitter with coffee and jungkook loves every single detail.


/


the digital clock on yoongi’s wall blinks at him. 00:24 am. it’s only maybe an hour after they kissed. jungkook had gone back to his spot on the couch with yoongi in tow.

he covers his eyes with his arm, lying on the couch. “was it really just a problem?”

“what?” he could feel yoongi shifting sleepily next to him.

he bites his cheek. “like, my kiss thing.”

yoongi sighs. “it’s not just anything.”

“back then, you said it like... i don’t know.”

“i didn’t...” yoongi sounds like he’s chewing on his words. “i didn’t know it meant something to you.”

jungkook stays silent.

“and i didn’t want to hope, so i acted like it doesn’t mean anything to me.”

jungkook peeks from behind his arm. “does it?”

yoongi props himself up on his elbows. “it means so fucking much. i can’t look at you without—i don’t think you have any idea.”

jungkook considers it. “i think i might. kiss me?”

yoongi smiles fondly and dips down.


/


“let’s make a toast,” seokjin declares, climbing on top of the table. he bumps his head on the dining light.

their schedule has finally freed up for all seven of them, at least for the week, and because they’re a brilliant bunch, they’d scheduled every day as bonding day. drinking day.

jungkook refills his own glass, shoulder to shoulder with yoongi. he’s not really complaining.

“people of the soirée, let’s make a toast,” seokjin stresses. 

“soirée,” yoongi mumbles into his drink. “pretentious asshole.”

“i heard that,” seokjin snips, pointing at him with his almost-empty wine bottle. “stop bitching just cause i’m on a higher class than you.”

taehyung snorts. yoongi glares at him.

it takes the 7 of them a few minutes to get everything together and sit down for the toast, and when jimin finally manages to be satisfied with whatever it is he mixed into his drink, seokjin begins.

“let’s make a toast to celebrate the solvation of—“

“solving,” namjoon mumbles.

“—the solvation of yoongi and jungkook’s—“

“what?” jungkook says, alarmed.

“—yoongi and jungkook’s mutual heart boner—“

“hyung,” yoongi hisses. his cheeks are crimson.

“be quiet,” seokjin hisses back. “and also the taking of jungkook’s kiss virginity. we—“

namjoon jumps up, gaping. his chair falls with a thud. “wait, really?”

hoseok groans. “absolutely where the fuck have you been this entire time—“

“since everyone’s dumb asses won’t stop interrupting me, let’s just drink. drink! cheers!” seokjin chugs his bottle. they all collectively go silent for a record three seconds to drink.

taehyung holds seokjin’s hand as he steps down from the table. seokjin blows a kiss at jungkook and yoongi.

“really?” namjoon says, turning to them.

“congratulations,” jimin says, grinning. “you’re a big boy now, jungkookie.”

“what the fuck is wrong with all of you,” yoongi mumbles, his forehead pressed to the table. 

jungkook buries his face on the back of yoongi’s sweater.


/


“sorry about seokjin,” hoseok’s voice says, early into the next day.

jungkook groans, mildly nauseous from all the alcohol intake.

“he’s just excited about you two. we’re all excited about you two.”

“what is it about us, anyway,” jungkook says, muffled by the pillow on his face. he could hear namjoon snoring from the other side of the room.

“dunno,” hoseok says, smile evident in his voice. “you both look happier, is all.”


/


“what’s it say?” the MC asks, peering curiously at the slip of paper in his hand. the dare game they’re playing.

jungkook goes red. “give one of the members a kiss.”

he turns to his right, where yoongi sits, and presses his lips as quick as possible to yoongi’s cheek. the whole room erupts into cheers.

“the maknae’s first kiss, everyone!” the MC declares.

when the cameras stop rolling and they’re dressing down from the show, yoongi mumbles, “the maknae’s first kiss, huh?”

jungkook laughs, drags him behind a rack of clothing, and kisses him on the lips.

yoongi tastes like coffee, like he always does, and jungkook cherishes it.


/